A routine traffic stop in Texas on May 16 led to the discovery of what police described as a “large amount” of marijuana. The 30-year-old Mississippi man who was behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV involved has been charged with possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana and possessing between 4 and 400 grams of a controlled substance. He was also cited for driving without a valid driver’s license. His bond has been set at $4,500, according to media accounts of the incident.

The man’s SUV was pulled over on the southbound lane of State Highway 6 in the vicinity of Meridian. A Bosque County Sheriff’s Office deputy says that he initiated the traffic stop after noticing that the SUV’s license plate lights were not working. The deputy asked for permission to search the vehicle when a records check revealed that the man’s driver’s license was invalid. The man reportedly gave the deputy consent to search his vehicle.

The subsequent search led to the discovery and seizure of an undisclosed quantity of marijuana. The man allegedly told the deputy that he had purchased the drugs in Colorado as he made his way from Wyoming to Houston. Marijuana is legal in Colorado and can be purchased freely.

The penalties for drug charges can be harsh in Texas even when police discover modest quantities of substances that are legal in other parts of the country. This is why experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise drivers to not consent to searches of their vehicles or persons unless police have obtained search warrants. Attorneys could also advise criminal suspects to remain silent and make no incriminating statements if drugs are discovered.